NPA and UL team up on GMP certification: ‘We have a perception problem; here’s an answer and it’s an answer that lasts,’ says Fabricant

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

"The problem with other certification programs is that they say, ‘hey, we’ll come see you and ensure you won’t have trouble with the FDA’. I don’t think that’s the right approach" - Dr Daniel Fabricant, NPA
"The problem with other certification programs is that they say, ‘hey, we’ll come see you and ensure you won’t have trouble with the FDA’. I don’t think that’s the right approach" - Dr Daniel Fabricant, NPA

Related tags: Dietary supplement, Npa

The Natural Products Association (NPA) and UL have announced a new partnership to certify Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for dietary supplement makers. 

Daniel Fabricant, PhD, CEO of NPA, told NutraIngredients-USA: “Consumers may have questions about product quality at the moment and I think this program, given our expertise and background in the industry and their background in health and public safety, is a match made in heaven.

“The industry has a perception problem and here is an answer and it’s an answer that lasts.”

As part of the collaboration, UL’s auditors will be trained in the NPA GMP standard, as they will administer the certification program, the audit function and the final decision on whether the product meets the standard to achieve compliance.

The organizations have also developed a co-branded, dietary supplement-specific badge logo program for use in product labeling, such as marketing materials, websites and social media for dietary supplements. The use of both the NPA and UL marks in its co-branded partnership will only be available for companies certified under the NPA GMP standard with audits conducted by UL. NPA will also allow the use of the NPA mark on product labels for the first time.

“This is especially timely today, because consumers should have confidence that their vitamins and supplements are safe and high quality,” ​said Dr Fabricant. “All they have to do is check for the NPA and UL marks, and they’ll know that the product was made the right way, in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.  NPA and UL are the leaders in helping to ensure quality, and this new joint venture will help raise retailer and consumer confidence in the industry’s products.”

The partnership will also open up new avenues for the industry to have its products tested for meeting label claims and absence of adulterants by a well-recognized and venerable dietary supplement and sports nutrition testing organization, said NPA and UL in a release.

Transparency

“This is going to be totally transparent, and I think that has been one of the things that is lacking in some of the other certification programs,”​ Dr Fabricant told us. “NPA will develop the standard, work with UL on the standard, but ultimately it will be UL doing the audit that guarantees the companies are meeting the standards. And we’ll help train the auditors with UL side-by-side.

“Any audit program is only as good as the people conducting the audits and given our background training FDA personnel, I think there’s a huge opportunity there.

“We have insight into the agency that nobody else has,” ​he added. “We’re not selling insurance. The problem with other certification programs is that they say, ‘hey, we’ll come see you and ensure you won’t have trouble with the FDA’. I don’t think that’s the right approach. GMPs are about continuous improvement and continuous quality. That’s what we’ve got.

“We want this program to be second to none, and we want to leverage the relationships we have and have had in the past with the agency and use that to inform and make sure firms are very aware about what it is they should be doing in terms of best practices.”

‘Beneficial for all’

Mike O’Hara, general manager of Global Nutraceuticals for UL said the opportunity to unite UL’s long tradition of consumer safety with NPA’s unmatched expertise in the dietary supplement industry is one that UL greatly welcomes and views as beneficial for all who make, sell and consume supplements.

“NPA’s third-party GMP certification program for the manufacturing of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients set the bar for the industry. UL is honored and excited to be able to move forward with NPA into the next stage of its prestigious program,” ​said O’Hara.

EduNeering

The announcement signifies an extension of the partnership between NPA and UL begun in December 2014​ with an education alliance to ‘raise the bar’ for dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors, auditors, retailers and other industry stakeholders.

The education partnership incorporate NPA’s regulatory and compliance seminars, web-based education and personalized, on-site training, along with top-notch training modules from EduNeering, the online regulatory training division of UL. The education will provide online and in-person education for NPA members.

Related topics: Markets, GMPs, QA & QC, Adulteration

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